Friday, April 15, 2011

Dash to the Gulf

I live in Asheville, NC and have ridden to Alaska, but never to Florida! I'm a teacher (for the present) and Spring Break was coming up. I decided to correct this and make a dash to the Gulf of Mexico.

I was going to take two days to ride down, spend a day at the beach, and take two days to get back. On the way down I camped at General Coffee State Park near Alma, GA. It was a nice place with Spanish moss in the trees and a real "southern" feel. Georgia state parks charge about $30 to camp and I think that is a little steep.

The next day I booked it for the Gulf. I passed through the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Lakeland, GA.

After passing into Florida I began looking for gas and food. Parts of the Florida panhandle have neither. I finally rolled into Panacea, FL. There I found a Shrimp/Chicken shack that made me wonder if Florida had a functioning Department of Health. Granny was fryin' in the kitchen while her daughter simultaneously took orders and breast fed a snotty nosed kid. I wanted shrimp, but decided to play it safe and ordered grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and fried okra. Money was not wasted grilling the chicken (it was almost raw), the okra was fried to within an inch of its life and I could still smell the chlorine from the tap water used to make the instant mashed potatoes. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

I arrived that evening in St. Joseph Peninsula State Park near Apalachiola. It was a nice destination on the Gulf and it is the part of Florida that has the white sugar sand.

The next day I spent walking around the state park and NOT swimming!!!!!!

I rode to Port St. Joe for a shrimp lunch. I found a little place called Regan's. I was the only customer in the little shrimp shack and while I ate I listened to the employees complain about the lack of tourist since the oil spill last year. As far as I could tell there was no damage to this area at all. The beaches were clear and beautiful.

On the way back to the state park I took a look at the Cape San Blas Light. She was very different from the light houses I am used to on the Outer Banks.

The next day I packed up and started back. I rode to Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park near Pine Mountain, GA. It was a nice, quite little place on a lake built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This was a "make work" program during the depression. The lake in the photo was made by men with shovels and wheelbarrows!

After loading up the next day I rode about two hundred miles to avoid riding through Atlanta. I don't like driving a car through Atlanta, much less riding a motorcycle. I was passing close to Suches, GA and decided to stop by and see Two Wheels Only. TWO had shut down and I wanted to pay homage to the place where I had had so many good times. It has already begun to look run down and it was truly a sad sight.

From TWO I told the GPS to take me home!

Dash to the Gulf

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Austin Vince in Asheville

On April 7, 2011 Austin Vince did his presentation on Terra Circa at the French Broad Brewery in Asheville. I was fortunate to attend this get together and meet Austin. Austin has ridden a motorcycle twice around the world. His first trip was Mondo Enduro and the second was called Terra Circa. I have long been a fan of Austin and his wife, Lois Pryce.

Tomorrow I will leave on a Spring Break trip to Florida. Nothing fancy, just a two day ride there, a day to sit at the beach and read, and a two day trip back. Look for my report next week!